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Stop over at DXB while migrating to USA from Pakistan

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My wife will be getting her immigration visa and will be traveling with me to USA in spring. Of course she will just have an immigration visa on her passport and not a green card. We will be travelling via Emirates airlines and are hoping to have a stop over in Dubai for two days. I have been researching Emirates airlines and the UAE embassy Web sites along with other online forums about how to get her a visa but I am getting conflicted information. Some sources say get visit visa from the hotel where you will be staying, some say you can get the 96 hours visa upon entry, and some say apply through the airlines. I know I do not need an advance visa since I am a US citizen. My question is: where do I apply a transir or a tourist visa for her? Our stay at max will be 72 hours. We may stay at a hotel or we may end up staying at a family friend's house to save some money. We have not decided on that part yet. If anyone has done so in the past, please let me know. I am sure the process is the same for a lot of countries as long as you are not from one of those countries where advance visa is not required. So you do not have to be from Pakistan.

TIA.

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My wife will be getting her immigration visa and will be traveling with me to USA in spring. Of course she will just have an immigration visa on her passport and not a green card. We will be travelling via Emirates airlines and are hoping to have a stop over in Dubai for two days. I have been researching Emirates airlines and the UAE embassy Web sites along with other online forums about how to get her a visa but I am getting conflicted information. Some sources say get visit visa from the hotel where you will be staying, some say you can get the 96 hours visa upon entry, and some say apply through the airlines. I know I do not need an advance visa since I am a US citizen. My question is: where do I apply a transir or a tourist visa for her? Our stay at max will be 72 hours. We may stay at a hotel or we may end up staying at a family friend's house to save some money. We have not decided on that part yet. If anyone has done so in the past, please let me know. I am sure the process is the same for a lot of countries as long as you are not from one of those countries where advance visa is not required. So you do not have to be from Pakistan.

TIA.

if you have relative there they ca get visa for her..just simply email the visa to her,if one of your friend or relative will do that it will be less expensive. Edited by hardrockangel

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I did this recently for my husband, who has a Pakistani passport. I made the reservation online through Emirates. After completing the reservation there is a place to check your visa in your reservation, just follow that and it takes you to a service to process the visa. The visa was completed within a week. Let me know if you have any questions!


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Married December 19, 2014

I-130 Petition sent January 14, 2015
NOA1 date January 20, 2015 (NSC)

NOA2 date May 28, 2015 :dance::dance::dance:

Mailed to NVC June 4, 2015

NVC Received June 10, 2015

NVC Case Number Assigned June 23, 2015

NVC AoS Invoice via Mail June 24, 2015

NVC Selected Agent Over Phone June 30, 2015 (Unable to logon to CEAC)

NVC IV Invoice via email received July 1, 2015

NVC AoS/IV Package Mailed July 2, 2015

NVC AoS & IV Fee Paid Online (CEAC is working) July 6. 2015

NVC Document Scan Date July 6, 2015

NCV AoS & IV Fee marked as paid in CEAC July, 7 2015

NVC DS 260 Completed July 8, 2015

NVC CC July 30, 2015 (24 days after scan date, about 2 months post NOA2)

Interview Scheduled on August 26, 2015

Interview P4 Email Received August 27, 2015

Medical in Islamabad September 2, 2015

Interview Date September 22, 2015 CANCELLED (Embassy is Over scheduled) :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Interview Scheduled on September 10, 2015

Interview Date October 14, 2015 APPROVED

Visa Issued October 16, 2015, 9 months start to finish

POE JFK October 26, 2015

GC in Hand Jan 8, 2016

RoC I-751 NOA1 August 31, 2017 (Vermont Service Center)

Biometrics October 2, 2017

I551 Stamp in Passport August 2, 2018

18 Month Extension Letter August 3, 2018

Applied for Naturalization N-400 Online July 30, 2018

Biometrics August 23, 2018

10 year GC is in production September 17, 2018

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I did this recently for my husband, who has a Pakistani passport. I made the reservation online through Emirates. After completing the reservation there is a place to check your visa in your reservation, just follow that and it takes you to a service to process the visa. The visa was completed within a week. Let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks. Do you mind telling me what was the cost for getting the visa through Emirates?

Here is my situation and I am getting a very confusing answer from Emirates about it. I am going in pretty much empty handed but on the way back, I will have total of 6 suit cases in economy class. Now if I stay in Dubai, that means I gotta check out my luggage. My questions to them were:

- Do I pay for the extra 2 suitcases only once in Pakistan for the final destination or do I have to pay for them once in Pakistan for Dubai and then at Dubai again for USA? They only answered I have to pay for extra suitcases, I have to check them out and they offer locked facility for specific sizes for xzy AED per 12 hour

- For Visa, they said I have to go through this third party to get my wife's visa or I should contact the embassy. I know the answer here is to go through Emirates because they allow you a 96 hour transit visa through the site.

Since there is confusion over the cost of extra luggage and of course the hassle of hauling 6 23kg+ bags around all by myself, I am reluctant to add a stay in Dubai no matter how much I want to. Any opinion on that?

Also if there are any suggestions for budge hotels, that would be great. I am reading a few things on trip adviser where some hotels are in good location (such as close to the beach) for cheap but they are nasty whereas some hotels are a bit far away, cost a little more, yet are truly 3+ stars hotel. For example CityMax Al Bashra.

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Thanks. Do you mind telling me what was the cost for getting the visa through Emirates?

Here is my situation and I am getting a very confusing answer from Emirates about it. I am going in pretty much empty handed but on the way back, I will have total of 6 suit cases in economy class. Now if I stay in Dubai, that means I gotta check out my luggage. My questions to them were:

- Do I pay for the extra 2 suitcases only once in Pakistan for the final destination or do I have to pay for them once in Pakistan for Dubai and then at Dubai again for USA? They only answered I have to pay for extra suitcases, I have to check them out and they offer locked facility for specific sizes for xzy AED per 12 hour

- For Visa, they said I have to go through this third party to get my wife's visa or I should contact the embassy. I know the answer here is to go through Emirates because they allow you a 96 hour transit visa through the site.

Since there is confusion over the cost of extra luggage and of course the hassle of hauling 6 23kg+ bags around all by myself, I am reluctant to add a stay in Dubai no matter how much I want to. Any opinion on that?

Also if there are any suggestions for budge hotels, that would be great. I am reading a few things on trip adviser where some hotels are in good location (such as close to the beach) for cheap but they are nasty whereas some hotels are a bit far away, cost a little more, yet are truly 3+ stars hotel. For example CityMax Al Bashra.

Actually I have stayed in Dubai several times so I can give you plenty of info about it! As for the cost of the visa, it was $403.54 and of that $307.23 was refunded when we left Dubai, so the visa actually cost about $100. I got a regular visit visa, not a transit visa, Shakeel was in Dubai with me for a long 4 days. As to your question about luggage I have no clue, I have never gone over the luggage amount. Is there a way you can avoid bringing the extra suitcases? As for hotels, I would say sort of depends a little on what neighborhood you want to be in. I will say Al Barsha is nice and I have stayed there several times; however, although it is close to the Mall of the Emirates and reasonably close to the marina is is far from other things like the airport, Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa, Gold souk etc. I would actually recommend that you stay closer to the Dubai mall as it will be more centrally located. The metro is cheap and efficient so I would suggest a hotel within walking distance to the metro. Let me know what you are thinking on the trip, and I can provide more suggestions if you want. Actually one thing I would say is if it is your first time to Dubai together, go ahead and plan a stay of 4 or 5 days, 2 just isn't enough! And it really was no trouble to get the visa.

Edited by Kastrs

Spoiler

 

Married December 19, 2014

I-130 Petition sent January 14, 2015
NOA1 date January 20, 2015 (NSC)

NOA2 date May 28, 2015 :dance::dance::dance:

Mailed to NVC June 4, 2015

NVC Received June 10, 2015

NVC Case Number Assigned June 23, 2015

NVC AoS Invoice via Mail June 24, 2015

NVC Selected Agent Over Phone June 30, 2015 (Unable to logon to CEAC)

NVC IV Invoice via email received July 1, 2015

NVC AoS/IV Package Mailed July 2, 2015

NVC AoS & IV Fee Paid Online (CEAC is working) July 6. 2015

NVC Document Scan Date July 6, 2015

NCV AoS & IV Fee marked as paid in CEAC July, 7 2015

NVC DS 260 Completed July 8, 2015

NVC CC July 30, 2015 (24 days after scan date, about 2 months post NOA2)

Interview Scheduled on August 26, 2015

Interview P4 Email Received August 27, 2015

Medical in Islamabad September 2, 2015

Interview Date September 22, 2015 CANCELLED (Embassy is Over scheduled) :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Interview Scheduled on September 10, 2015

Interview Date October 14, 2015 APPROVED

Visa Issued October 16, 2015, 9 months start to finish

POE JFK October 26, 2015

GC in Hand Jan 8, 2016

RoC I-751 NOA1 August 31, 2017 (Vermont Service Center)

Biometrics October 2, 2017

I551 Stamp in Passport August 2, 2018

18 Month Extension Letter August 3, 2018

Applied for Naturalization N-400 Online July 30, 2018

Biometrics August 23, 2018

10 year GC is in production September 17, 2018

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Actually I have stayed in Dubai several times so I can give you plenty of info about it! As for the cost of the visa, it was $403.54 and of that $307.23 was refunded when we left Dubai, so the visa actually cost about $100. I got a regular visit visa, not a transit visa, Shakeel was in Dubai with me for a long 4 days. As to your question about luggage I have no clue, I have never gone over the luggage amount. Is there a way you can avoid bringing the extra suitcases? As for hotels, I would say sort of depends a little on what neighborhood you want to be in. I will say Al Barsha is nice and I have stayed there several times; however, although it is close to the Mall of the Emirates and reasonably close to the marina is is far from other things like the airport, Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa, Gold souk etc. I would actually recommend that you stay closer to the Dubai mall as it will be more centrally located. The metro is cheap and efficient so I would suggest a hotel within walking distance to the metro. Let me know what you are thinking on the trip, and I can provide more suggestions if you want. Actually one thing I would say is if it is your first time to Dubai together, go ahead and plan a stay of 4 or 5 days, 2 just isn't enough! And it really was no trouble to get the visa.

I have yet to discuss this with my wife about what she wants to do. For me, there isn't much besides the mall which I hate to begin with. And unfortunately we will only have 2-3 days because of my limited vacation. I have been there only once and stayed at London Crown which was horrible for $100 a night. That was my first time and I did not book a hotel in advance for my 18 hour layover. I had no idea what was going on so had to book it through Emirates desk which did everything for me. Roaches in the bathroom and the kitchen was nasty. On top of that, I am a bit of a germophobe.

I will post a list of things that I want to do after asking her and doing some more research for hotels around the mall/beach area.

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Actually I have stayed in Dubai several times so I can give you plenty of info about it! As for the cost of the visa, it was $403.54 and of that $307.23 was refunded when we left Dubai, so the visa actually cost about $100. I got a regular visit visa, not a transit visa, Shakeel was in Dubai with me for a long 4 days. As to your question about luggage I have no clue, I have never gone over the luggage amount. Is there a way you can avoid bringing the extra suitcases? As for hotels, I would say sort of depends a little on what neighborhood you want to be in. I will say Al Barsha is nice and I have stayed there several times; however, although it is close to the Mall of the Emirates and reasonably close to the marina is is far from other things like the airport, Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa, Gold souk etc. I would actually recommend that you stay closer to the Dubai mall as it will be more centrally located. The metro is cheap and efficient so I would suggest a hotel within walking distance to the metro. Let me know what you are thinking on the trip, and I can provide more suggestions if you want. Actually one thing I would say is if it is your first time to Dubai together, go ahead and plan a stay of 4 or 5 days, 2 just isn't enough! And it really was no trouble to get the visa.

Alright I have been doing some research and finally came up with where I would want to stay. These are based on random forums which were not really helpful as I am not really aware of different areas.

I want to stay in an area where I can get to the malls, the markets and the beach via metro. I am assuming considering the amount of travelling I have to do, taxi will get expensive so I want to rely on metro other than to/from airport. As for food, I will mainly try to eat the local food but not necessarily looking for a dollar menu. If you can suggest an area, I will try look for hotels and local restaurants that fit my budget.

I will have extra luggage because my wife will be migrating for the first time. So it is not like we have much of an option. I am expecting at least 5 suitcases and 2 hand carries plus her purse. I have asked Emirates Airlines and they say they will charge me for luggage for the final destination. I will send another e-mail to confirm this with them. As for visa, looks like I cannot buy her ticket and she will be purchasing it from an agent in PK. So very likely she will get visa on her own. I will have to live with whatever they charge.

I read a few articles by professionals and news sites, they have been mainly useless. Shame on them. They have mainly been covering hotels and beaches for people who are well off. Some of them do mention that budget hotels but the rates these article mentioned are probably from summer season. And of course, search engines are mainly full of spam with cheap hotels in crappy districts with no proper guide. I have mainly relied on tripadvisor forums and one or two blogs.

Considering this site is for US visa help and not vacation, any help is appreciated. I will hit trip advisory, if needed, once I get an idea of what to ask for.

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Alright I have been doing some research and finally came up with where I would want to stay. These are based on random forums which were not really helpful as I am not really aware of different areas.

I want to stay in an area where I can get to the malls, the markets and the beach via metro. I am assuming considering the amount of travelling I have to do, taxi will get expensive so I want to rely on metro other than to/from airport. As for food, I will mainly try to eat the local food but not necessarily looking for a dollar menu. If you can suggest an area, I will try look for hotels and local restaurants that fit my budget.

I will have extra luggage because my wife will be migrating for the first time. So it is not like we have much of an option. I am expecting at least 5 suitcases and 2 hand carries plus her purse. I have asked Emirates Airlines and they say they will charge me for luggage for the final destination. I will send another e-mail to confirm this with them. As for visa, looks like I cannot buy her ticket and she will be purchasing it from an agent in PK. So very likely she will get visa on her own. I will have to live with whatever they charge.

I read a few articles by professionals and news sites, they have been mainly useless. Shame on them. They have mainly been covering hotels and beaches for people who are well off. Some of them do mention that budget hotels but the rates these article mentioned are probably from summer season. And of course, search engines are mainly full of spam with cheap hotels in crappy districts with no proper guide. I have mainly relied on tripadvisor forums and one or two blogs.

Considering this site is for US visa help and not vacation, any help is appreciated. I will hit trip advisory, if needed, once I get an idea of what to ask for.

OK so I hope this helps, so as far as getting places the metro is great to go everywhere except the beach, for that you will probably want to catch a taxi. Taxis are relatively cheap there and they are definitely easy to get. I am not really sure what your hotel budget is, or how nice of a hotel you are looking for. If you can something close to the Dubai Mall (Downtown Dubai) would be nice as it is not too far from the airport and is central to the marina, MOE, and souk areas. Otherwise, I would try to stay in Karama or Jaffiliya, both will be close to the metro. Also, Depending on your luggage situation, it is possible to take the metro from the Airport to the hotel, I have done this and it worked out very well. Food you can get anywhere! There is shops everywhere and as long as you stick to the cafeterias, it will be cheap. For my husband and myself 2 could eat at one of those places for 20-25Dhs total.

As for booking the ticket, that can be complicated or not.....So if you and your wife have the same last name, then you can book the ticket using your credit card. If not, and that is the route I had to do myself, as I was not married at the time Shakeel and I took our trip, you can make the reservation online for her on the Emirates website and then select the option for her to pay in person. Once the reservation is complete, she will have 3 days to pay at the emirates office in Islamabad. Shakeel paid in cash, I am not sure if they accept credit, but I am sure they would not accept my card. Once her reservation is paid for, you can apply for her visa yourself using her confirmation number on the emirates website. I applied for Shakeel's visa myself.

If you could give me some idea of your budget and what you are looking for out of a hotel, I can try to provide more help-I still know quite a few people in Duabi.

Feel free to PM me if you want.

Also, need any suggestions of things to do?


Spoiler

 

Married December 19, 2014

I-130 Petition sent January 14, 2015
NOA1 date January 20, 2015 (NSC)

NOA2 date May 28, 2015 :dance::dance::dance:

Mailed to NVC June 4, 2015

NVC Received June 10, 2015

NVC Case Number Assigned June 23, 2015

NVC AoS Invoice via Mail June 24, 2015

NVC Selected Agent Over Phone June 30, 2015 (Unable to logon to CEAC)

NVC IV Invoice via email received July 1, 2015

NVC AoS/IV Package Mailed July 2, 2015

NVC AoS & IV Fee Paid Online (CEAC is working) July 6. 2015

NVC Document Scan Date July 6, 2015

NCV AoS & IV Fee marked as paid in CEAC July, 7 2015

NVC DS 260 Completed July 8, 2015

NVC CC July 30, 2015 (24 days after scan date, about 2 months post NOA2)

Interview Scheduled on August 26, 2015

Interview P4 Email Received August 27, 2015

Medical in Islamabad September 2, 2015

Interview Date September 22, 2015 CANCELLED (Embassy is Over scheduled) :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Interview Scheduled on September 10, 2015

Interview Date October 14, 2015 APPROVED

Visa Issued October 16, 2015, 9 months start to finish

POE JFK October 26, 2015

GC in Hand Jan 8, 2016

RoC I-751 NOA1 August 31, 2017 (Vermont Service Center)

Biometrics October 2, 2017

I551 Stamp in Passport August 2, 2018

18 Month Extension Letter August 3, 2018

Applied for Naturalization N-400 Online July 30, 2018

Biometrics August 23, 2018

10 year GC is in production September 17, 2018

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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OK so I hope this helps, so as far as getting places the metro is great to go everywhere except the beach, for that you will probably want to catch a taxi. Taxis are relatively cheap there and they are definitely easy to get. I am not really sure what your hotel budget is, or how nice of a hotel you are looking for. If you can something close to the Dubai Mall (Downtown Dubai) would be nice as it is not too far from the airport and is central to the marina, MOE, and souk areas. Otherwise, I would try to stay in Karama or Jaffiliya, both will be close to the metro. Also, Depending on your luggage situation, it is possible to take the metro from the Airport to the hotel, I have done this and it worked out very well. Food you can get anywhere! There is shops everywhere and as long as you stick to the cafeterias, it will be cheap. For my husband and myself 2 could eat at one of those places for 20-25Dhs total.

As for booking the ticket, that can be complicated or not.....So if you and your wife have the same last name, then you can book the ticket using your credit card. If not, and that is the route I had to do myself, as I was not married at the time Shakeel and I took our trip, you can make the reservation online for her on the Emirates website and then select the option for her to pay in person. Once the reservation is complete, she will have 3 days to pay at the emirates office in Islamabad. Shakeel paid in cash, I am not sure if they accept credit, but I am sure they would not accept my card. Once her reservation is paid for, you can apply for her visa yourself using her confirmation number on the emirates website. I applied for Shakeel's visa myself.

If you could give me some idea of your budget and what you are looking for out of a hotel, I can try to provide more help-I still know quite a few people in Duabi.

Feel free to PM me if you want.

Also, need any suggestions of things to do?

Thanks, this is very helpful.

I am planning to be there for about 3-4 days. I know flight from Islamabad lands there in the AM. So if I include the first day, it is 4 days.

My original plan was to stay near Al Barsha are but after some search, it turns out the main thing there is Mall of Emirates and the rest of the stuff is a bit far away. Therefore I thought Bur Dubai district is probably a better option as there are even less options in Diera (I think). As for my budget, I am going to try to keep my hotel bill at less than $600 (about $125/night) including taxes and charges. I am not looking for 5 star luxury but personally I need cleanliness and some class. My first visit I didn't book in advance and Emirates booked a hotel for me for $110 3 years ago at London Crown 1. It was a cheap place, bathroom had roaches and mold, and the kitchen was just plain nasty. I was only there for 15 hours so other than shower, I didn't bother staying. I know it was my mistake for not booking in advance but I didn't know about airlines rules and it was my first time travelling in almost 10 years.

In any case, coming back to the hotels. I found a decent deal on Double Tree Hilton but of course it is near Mall of Emirates. I am looking at hotels and comparing their prices with pictures and reviews in Bur Dubai so I can get some idea of money to amenities. Besides, other than some basic relaxing and breakfast, we won't be in staying in hotel anyway. For Bur Dubai, I found Mercure Gold Hotel and Four Points By Sheraton in my price range but I am sure as spring break approaches, these prices will go up. If you look at their addresses, you will see that they are around 7th Street and about 8-10KM away from Dubai Mall. And both are about $450 for four days.

Going back to what I want to do, here is my plan:

  • Day 1: relax as I will have traveled from US to PK, pack stuff and say good byes and then travel to Dubai in less than 4 days. Then during evening time, hit the downtown area on foot and find some food.
  • Day 2: Hit the Jumeira Publich Beach in the AM as it will be fairly warm during day time right after breakfast. Then during noon to evening time, get to the Dubai Mall via taxi and then surrounding areas on foot.
  • Day 3: Probably same area as Dubai Mall but not the mall itself. If possible, I read I can take the monorail toward Palm Jebel Ali as well. Hit the souks or whatever they are called in the evening in Deira area.
  • Day 4: Hit Mall of Emirates and if possible the kind palace if it is open to public. I cannot afford a meal at the Burj Khaleefa so that's out of question. Since the flights are usually at night and it will be my last day, I will also have to be out of hotel at their checkout time and haul my back to the airport. Then the last 5-6 hours probably just roam at the airport.

FYI, the names of places are taken off Google Maps so they may or may not be correct. For hotel, I am not married to that area. I just want a place where I can find some good, clean food where I can enjoy the food instead of trying to choose off the menu what fits my budget. The 25AED fits my bill just fine. I am going to try to focus on international cuisine as here in the US, I mostly don't have any options besides Pakistani and Indian food.

Thank you again for all your input.

Edited by zalim_computer

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The last time I was in Dubai, I got visa as I was leaving the area for vist, they gave me 30 days visa, for other then US citizen, they were charging $110.0 for the 30 day visa.

For US citizens, from what I recall, there is no visa fee. I did not want to spend 18 hours at the airport so I after booking a really crappy hotel, they just stamped my passport for 30 days. When I asked them what they did, they said U.S citizens get visit visa without a problem. They did not check my ticket or anything to ensure I was there for long or short trip. My crappy hotel was London Crown 1, which is different than London Crown. It seems like Emirates choice of hotel for the economy class.

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Thanks, this is very helpful.

I am planning to be there for about 3-4 days. I know flight from Islamabad lands there in the AM. So if I include the first day, it is 4 days.

My original plan was to stay near Al Barsha are but after some search, it turns out the main thing there is Mall of Emirates and the rest of the stuff is a bit far away. Therefore I thought Bur Dubai district is probably a better option as there are even less options in Diera (I think). As for my budget, I am going to try to keep my hotel bill at less than $600 (about $125/night) including taxes and charges. I am not looking for 5 star luxury but personally I need cleanliness and some class. My first visit I didn't book in advance and Emirates booked a hotel for me for $110 3 years ago at London Crown 1. It was a cheap place, bathroom had roaches and mold, and the kitchen was just plain nasty. I was only there for 15 hours so other than shower, I didn't bother staying. I know it was my mistake for not booking in advance but I didn't know about airlines rules and it was my first time travelling in almost 10 years.

In any case, coming back to the hotels. I found a decent deal on Double Tree Hilton but of course it is near Mall of Emirates. I am looking at hotels and comparing their prices with pictures and reviews in Bur Dubai so I can get some idea of money to amenities. Besides, other than some basic relaxing and breakfast, we won't be in staying in hotel anyway. For Bur Dubai, I found Mercure Gold Hotel and Four Points By Sheraton in my price range but I am sure as spring break approaches, these prices will go up. If you look at their addresses, you will see that they are around 7th Street and about 8-10KM away from Dubai Mall. And both are about $450 for four days.

Going back to what I want to do, here is my plan:

  • Day 1: relax as I will have traveled from US to PK, pack stuff and say good byes and then travel to Dubai in less than 4 days. Then during evening time, hit the downtown area on foot and find some food.
  • Day 2: Hit the Jumeira Publich Beach in the AM as it will be fairly warm during day time right after breakfast. Then during noon to evening time, get to the Dubai Mall via taxi and then surrounding areas on foot.
  • Day 3: Probably same area as Dubai Mall but not the mall itself. If possible, I read I can take the monorail toward Palm Jebel Ali as well. Hit the souks or whatever they are called in the evening in Deira area.
  • Day 4: Hit Mall of Emirates and if possible the kind palace if it is open to public. I cannot afford a meal at the Burj Khaleefa so that's out of question. Since the flights are usually at night and it will be my last day, I will also have to be out of hotel at their checkout time and haul my back to the airport. Then the last 5-6 hours probably just roam at the airport.

FYI, the names of places are taken off Google Maps so they may or may not be correct. For hotel, I am not married to that area. I just want a place where I can find some good, clean food where I can enjoy the food instead of trying to choose off the menu what fits my budget. The 25AED fits my bill just fine. I am going to try to focus on international cuisine as here in the US, I mostly don't have any options besides Pakistani and Indian food.

Thank you again for all your input.

If you mean the four points Bur Dubai, that should be ok not too far from the metro, and four points is a normal brand. As a tip though, those maps can be a little deceptive and make things seem way closer than they actually are! Al Barsha (mall of emirates area) is nice, and the hotels are nice, but it really is far from the airport (I would budget an hour because traffic can be horrible) and only close to the mall.

As far as thinking of downtown dubai like what we would think of as a downtown in a US city, it isnt like that at all. Downtown Dubai is just the area surrounding the Dubai Mall. I would suggest that spending time outside in what is called downtown dubai might be not a good use of time, there is not so much to see there other than looking at some buildings, which you can easily see from the metro ride and things anyway. One thing that you could do in the evening is take the metro to the Dubai mall stop, go for a walk around the mall/eat dinner in the mall/and go to the observation deck at the Burj Khalifa. You can buy tickets in advance online (Which I highly suggest doing if this is an activity you are interested in). As for things to see in the mall, there is an ice skating rink, movie theater, loads of shopping (although the prices are not better than you can get in the US and it will just add more stuff to your already stuffed suitcases), an aquarium (you can view the large tank for free, or pay to go inside where you can see more) and a nice fountain. One thing you should fit in to your schedule while you are at the mall is to see the Dubai Fountain. It is located outside and plays only once or twice in the afternoon, but is every half hour in the evenings. I would estimate that doing the burj khalifa/dinner/walk around the mall/fountain could be done in about 3-4 hours depending on how much time you want to spend in the mall.

As for the beach, you will definitely want to get a taxi to go there, right now some of the beaches are closed for restoration and I am not sure when they are scheduled to reopen.

Other activities that you might enjoy: a walk around the marina, there is LOADS of places to eat there, and it makes for a nice evening activity

A walk around the gold souk, take the metro to the Al Ras station and walk from there, also while you are there you can easily stop at the heritage house and Ahmedia School so you can get a taste of traditional emirati life (both are free), if you decide to do any shopping in the gold souk, or in that area DO NOT speak in english if that is possible, they will charge you more, and remember to negotiate, I usually walk through Naif after the gold souk, there is a lot of shopping there/places to eat, and it really is a good idea of how a lot of people live in Dubai, and then I catch one of the metro stations closer to that area to head back to my hotel.

You still might enjoy the tour of the Jumeriah Mosque (you do need to take a taxi there, but it is possible to walk from the mosque to the beach) the tour is at 10 am and I think is 10dhs each. Shakeel really enjoyed it.

The Burj Al Arab is beautiful both inside and out, however, you can not get inside unless you have made a reservation. I know it can be quite expensive to eat inside, but one option to consider is the afternoon tea which is much cheaper than eating there.

There is a monorail going out on the Palm Jumeriah, but as far as I know it is still not connected to the metro meaning you would either want to get a taxi to the metro stop on the mainland or just take a taxi out to Atlantis. For two, it is probably about the same cost to take a taxi all the way out as it is to ride the metro. When I did this I took a taxi one way and the monorail the other way back. The monorail drops you by Atlantis. Out there you can pay for a swim with the dolphins, go in the aquaventure park, or see the Atlantis aquarium.

The Dubai museum is interesting and last I knew was very cheap to get in, I think 1dhs per person so it is worth a visit if you have time and want to learn more about the UAE.

Mall of the Emirates is interesting if you have time, I would suggest combining it with time at the marina since they are both in the same direction. The biggest draw at this mall is the ski slope.

I do not know about any palace being open to the public and cannot comment on that.

As for your flight/luggage situation, most hotels will let you check out of your room in the am and then store your luggage there for pickup later in the day before your flight. I have done that a couple times and it worked out really well. I hate spending a lot of time in airports!

For a 4 days stay, I would probably suggest that you each get a silver metro card. I think it is a better value than a red metro.

If you are on the east coast, I hope you survived the snow ok!

On a final note no, you do not have a visa fee. US citizens get 30 days free visa on arrival. Let me know if you have any more questions, I hope I am being helpful!


Spoiler

 

Married December 19, 2014

I-130 Petition sent January 14, 2015
NOA1 date January 20, 2015 (NSC)

NOA2 date May 28, 2015 :dance::dance::dance:

Mailed to NVC June 4, 2015

NVC Received June 10, 2015

NVC Case Number Assigned June 23, 2015

NVC AoS Invoice via Mail June 24, 2015

NVC Selected Agent Over Phone June 30, 2015 (Unable to logon to CEAC)

NVC IV Invoice via email received July 1, 2015

NVC AoS/IV Package Mailed July 2, 2015

NVC AoS & IV Fee Paid Online (CEAC is working) July 6. 2015

NVC Document Scan Date July 6, 2015

NCV AoS & IV Fee marked as paid in CEAC July, 7 2015

NVC DS 260 Completed July 8, 2015

NVC CC July 30, 2015 (24 days after scan date, about 2 months post NOA2)

Interview Scheduled on August 26, 2015

Interview P4 Email Received August 27, 2015

Medical in Islamabad September 2, 2015

Interview Date September 22, 2015 CANCELLED (Embassy is Over scheduled) :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Interview Scheduled on September 10, 2015

Interview Date October 14, 2015 APPROVED

Visa Issued October 16, 2015, 9 months start to finish

POE JFK October 26, 2015

GC in Hand Jan 8, 2016

RoC I-751 NOA1 August 31, 2017 (Vermont Service Center)

Biometrics October 2, 2017

I551 Stamp in Passport August 2, 2018

18 Month Extension Letter August 3, 2018

Applied for Naturalization N-400 Online July 30, 2018

Biometrics August 23, 2018

10 year GC is in production September 17, 2018

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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